Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Computeritis and Stepping Away from the Screen

Can anyone go a full day without checking their device? How about an hour?

The thought of going a full day makes me hyperventilate. Seriously. I know I can't be alone.

From the moment I get out of bed until I return to it, I'm switching between three or four devices, sometimes engaging them at the same time.

But it's my business.


What if I miss that all-important message that could make or break the career?

If anyone needs to hear what +Chris Brogan has to say on Friday on +Virtual Newsmakers, it's me. He's going to be on our Google Hangout at Noon EST. He'll be talking with me and +Cynthia K Seymour about maintaining a computer-life balance.

I don't know about you but spending your days (and nights) on a computer wreaks havoc with your body, and I suffer from Computeritis big time.

What is Computeritis?

Do your neck muscles get so stiff that you can't turn your head, or you get a knotty lump in the back groove of your skull? Are your shoulders and upper arms so taut that it hurts to slightly touch them? If any of these apply, you, too, suffer from Computeritis.

If it get so bad that the pain keeps you awake at night, you need to go to a physiotherapist. Or you can do some of the things I was told to do when I saw mine. :)

There is the "close the door" chin exercise where you stand tall with shoulders back and pull the chin back with the rest of your head still -- about 10 times. This pulls the muscles on your upper under arm and kills at the beginning. You do it in 10x intervals many times a day.

The effin' roller can be used for your back. Lay on it and roll the heck back and forth against your shoulder muscles. You'll know why this piece of equipment is nicknamed that once you begin.

Those two things help a lot and it won't be a whole lot of fun.

It's the only time I seem to disconnect...when I'm working out the muscles to step back in.

If you have any ideas on exercises or how you put down the smartphone or tablet, I'd love to hear them.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Chris Yates, Grumpy Cat, and Video Fail

Suck early, suck often, and you'll be okay.

This is the takeaway nugget from +Chris Yates for those viewers thinking about embarking on their own web show.

How fitting that Yates was a fill-in for the inaugural launch of a new weekly webcast that bridges traditional and digital media. Even better, he was the first journalist to interview Grumpy Cat at South by Southwest.

+Virtual Newsmakers, with guests lined up until mid-June, received its first cancellation just a few days before the show. But you know what they say. When one door closes, a better one opens. Chris Yates was that better door.

So here we are -- Friday morning, scrambling to finish blow-drying the hair and get the live link pushed out before hitting the On Air button. All goes according to plan, then poof! One of us disappears.

Yep, no matter how much one prepares and tests the equipment, you can't account for the complete shutdown of a laptop and a less than stellar Internet connection, even though you are wired in. Sigh.

This black screen is me scrambling to get back into the Hangout while the laptop s-l-o-w-l-y loads back into Google Plus. Impatient, because I'm using Chrome, I foolishly try to open Firefox at the same time, thinking that the browser will load faster, and instead, slows the laptop to an absolute crawl. It's so slow, I can't even see the spinning wheel of death.

All this is going on while my co-host flawlessly carries the show and Yates fires off nugget after nugget.

Like many productions, what you see on the front end doesn't always show what's going on in the back end. The only thing we know for sure is it can happen to anyone. Preparation negates panic and a production schedule with suggested questions can help guide a co-host with a security blanket, if needed, to carry the rest of the show.

See what you think:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mark Zuckerberg, Say It Ain't So

We knew it would happen but were hoping it wouldn't.

Facebook plans to subscribe to full screen auto-play ads some time in the next couple of months.

We get that once a company goes public, it has to appease its shareholders. But if Facebook goes through with its plans, that goes against its reason for being in business in the first place.

It doesn't fit the medium.

So by the summer, one or two things may happen, and it likely won't be business as usual. 1. Users will boycott the advertisers.  2. An exodus of users to Google Plus.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Not Available In Your Country


This is just a little annoying. Is it only in Canada? 

We see the same message on Jon Stewart clips, +Team Coco , +Saturday Night Live , and worst of all: +Nickelback YouTube videos. 

What's the big deal with Nickelback? They're CANADIAN.

Even those multi-million dollar commercial spots for Super Bowl are replaced with the two or three continuous ads that seem to run through every broadcast. Hmm. Wouldn't that bother the advertiser that spent all those bucks to have those ads aired live? 

I'm not sure which end blocks content from the United States -- whether it is the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission, which is a thorn in every Canadian viewer's side), the cable company, or the network.  

Given that we can communicate live via video in a heartbeat with someone from Malta or Papua New Guinea, or that we can purchase anything on the Internet and get our news almost before it happens -- this type of service blocking from/or of a neighboring country and biggest trade partner seems just a little ridiculous.

Every time I see this, it makes me pine another day for a US green card.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Armchair Sports Has Become Interactive

This is my favorite example of how to watch UFC and other sports live -- with Twitter peeps and offering periodic updates on Facebook and Google Plus.

What you don't see in this screenshot is the two television sets I had on at the same time: likely one with Hockey Night in Canada, the other with NCAA college football.

Watching sports with my social peeps has become a new way of life, especially during big events, such as an Olympic Winter Games gold medal hockey game, the NFC conference final, or the BCS championship game.

It's like having everyone in your own living room. Sometimes a new guest will appear, as in the case of Twitter, when you search the hashtag and engage a conversation with a fellow viewer.

The Internet and social media has really made our world more social -- and global, even when just watching a game.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Perception and the Fight Club Rules

I've never met Kevin Trudeau. I cannot tell you first-hand if he kicks puppies or snuffs out butterflies. What I can tell you is he has been one of the single-most positive influences in my life for the past year and three months.

There is no doubt he can be controversial, off the wall, and just plain out there. So when I saw the ABC News piece about Kevin, it kind of made me smile. It just goes to show that no matter what side of a fence one sits on, everyone is in good company.

December 2011, I was introduced to the 14-CD package Your Wish is Your Command. It was everything I was looking for at the time. It was the missing key to all the motivational puzzles. It took over where Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich left off.

Money was tight, but I joined the Global Information Network. I never really looked at it from the multi-level marketing aspect that many people do. I looked at it for the value that the audios had brought to the table and how they impacted my thinking...which for everyone is a constant challenge. The bathroom mirror is not unlike a vehicle side mirror: outward confidence and togetherness is not always as it appears.

I listen to one or more of the GIN audios over and over again nearly every day. I listen to them when awake and many times play them when I go to sleep so they stick to the subconscious brain. They have been my lifeline.

From outward appearance, some of my choices and ventures may look as unconventional and crazy as Kevin's do to the haters. Sometimes I question my own choices, but hindsight means you have to live with them and work through them accordingly. That said, what has happened since GIN and KT have come into my life is that a dream project materialized. This is where the craziness steps in. This project is out of my normal genre, but it also includes an element of it. When it finally launches, it will allow me to work in a way I've always dreamed of: tapping into extreme creativeness, using every form of media known to man, and seeing final products that entertain, inspire, and even create a few jobs in the process. 

The sacrifices made (shelter, belongings, time, lots of debt) have been extremely personal, but will be worth it in the end. All the dogs will be sent to the pound and a new beginning means working at something that is way bigger than me or anyone else involved. I knew I had to risk everything to do my part to see it through. So while things like this do not happen overnight, the challenge is to keep the focus while juggling the back end of survival. I know I am not alone. Any project worthwhile demands the same sacrifices. Just look at Walt Disney and Milton S. Hershey who went bankrupt several times over before their existing companies came to being.

The Global Information Network may indeed feel like a scam to the people in the ABC piece, and KT may seem like he is too good to be true. It all boils down to the messages in the GIN audios. It's about every one of us as individuals. The hardest thing in the world to do when other aspects of your life are crashing around you is this: BELIEVE. Without belief, nothing will manifest except the belief you hold that it won't happen. 

There is a close friend of mine who has had similar challenges. Knowing that has been comforting and encouraging, especially as I watch him now on his upward swing. Pointing a finger and judging him would mean my life is perfect and that I have never made a bad decision.

We are all the sum of our choices, for sure. They may not always be the best ones, and sometimes the decisions lead to a venture really worthwhile, which allows you to go back and make good on all those other choices. The one thread that binds it together is belief.